Orchestra Conductor: Pretend Play Idea for Kids

What Does a Conductor Do?

I am NOT familiar with orchestras, instruments, symphonies…anything about classical music. But! My son LOVED Beethoven’s Symphony No.9. Notably, the second movement, “Molto vivace.” He only wanted to listen to the Molto vivace part over and over again!

Gustavo Dudamel – Beethoven’s 9th Symphony Movement 2 with Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra (Gustavo Dudamel)

I realized that he has his tuxedo set in our closet. We used them for my son’s Halloween costume to be Sir Topham Hatt from the TV series Thomas & Friends. I thought it might be fun to dress up and use chopstick as a conductor baton, then pretend like an orchestra conductor with his favorite song, Beethoven’s Symphony No.9, the Movement 2 Molto vivace playing!
I asked him if he wanted to do it, and he was super excited.

What We Used

  • Tuxedo set (Optional)
  • Bow tie (Optional)
  • White dress shirts
  • Chopstick or straw
  • Phone or music player for playing classical music

How We Did

Pretending an Orchestra Conductor
The music started! Intense beginning!
Pretending an Orchestra Conductor with tuxedo
Feeling the song
Pretending an Orchestra Conductor with tuxedo
He is a very passionate conductor!
Quiet ending: Orchestra conductor pretend play
Quiet ending. Bravo conductor!

He was sooooo happy after he is done. He got so passionate about it and repeated the act a couple times. So glad we did this activity before his tuxedo couldn’t fit on him!

Resources for Learning Topics


Class Notes: What Does a Conductor Do? (Classical MPR)

This video was very helpful to understand the conductors job.

Details about this video: This Class Notes video answers the question “What Does a Conductor Do?” The vibrant American conductor Sarah Hicks interacts directly with the young students in the video to spark their interest in the conductor’s art and give them a taste of the great music it expresses.

What a conductor actually does on stage (Vox)
George Meets the Orchestra | An Introduction to the Orchestra for Children (Sydney Opera House)

This video was very helpful to understand the orchestra and the conductor

Details about this video: George as he chats with players of the Sydney Youth Orchestra and learns all about the four families of the orchestra – strings, brass, woodwind, and percussion.

Happy learning!

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